Freaky Funerals: The Psychology Behind Out-Of-The-Atypical Physique Embalming

Author Name: Lizette Borelli
Publish Date: 25.04.2016
Website Link:

The psychology behind why excessive embalming has developed into a well-liked pattern at funerals.

Funerals are designed to assist individuals come to phrases with loss of life. Seeing a beloved one in an open casket, sporting their “Sunday’s greatest,” and the organ taking part in within the background all helps to normalize the grieving course of by permitting household and mates to simply accept mortality. Now, a number of morticians throughout the nation, from Louisiana to Puerto Rico, have put their distinctive aptitude on funerals by providing excessive embalming, making it simpler — and possibly even enjoyable — to commemorate the lifeless.

Useless Or Alive: Excessive Embalming

The unconventional funeral pattern first made headlines in 2008 when the physique of a 24-year-old homicide sufferer, Angel Luis Pantojas, was tethered towards the wall in his household lounge in Puerto Rico. His funeral, often called “muerto parao,” or or lifeless man standing, was an web sensation and shortly set the tone for future “freaky” funerals. The concept got here from Pantojas himself after attending his father’s funeral at age 6, in line with the New York Instances. He advised his kinfolk that he needed to be seen on his toes.

Shortly after, one other homicide sufferer was propped on a bike, and in March, 26-year-old Fernando de Jesus Diaz Beato, who was tragically shot and killed, was seated on a chair — along with his eyes open — a funeral first.

Damaris Marin, proprietor of Marin Funeral Dwelling with areas in San Juan and Rio Piedras, explains households of the deceased wish to see their liked one as they had been throughout their life.

“We have now seen that the households want to see the lifeless males simply as they had been once they have been alive,” stated Marin, NY Put up reported. “I feel that this time was probably the most spectacular response to any of the work we’ve executed,” she stated, referring to Beato’s embalming.

Marin’s funeral residence is taken into account to be a pacesetter within the improvement of those funeral companies. They’ve achieved 9 excessive embalming funerals thus far.

This course of usually takes two days, and it’s not simple work, in accordance with Marin. “The key is within the embalming,” however she has not revealed the precise particulars.

Usually, in regular embalming, the physique is washed in a disinfectant answer, and the limbs are massaged and morphed to alleviate stiffness of the joints and the limbs, in line with the Funerals Shoppers Alliance. Roughly 16 ounces of fluid mixed with two gallons of water is an efficient dilution. Facial hair is shaved off, except the deceased wore facial hair.

Subsequent, the surgical embalming or beauty processes start with the removing of bodily fluids utilizing formaldehyde-based chemical options. The physique is then ready for viewing by styling the hair, making use of make-up, and setting the facial options. Embalming doesn’t present any public well being profit, in line with the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management. It’s solely obligatory for individuals who had died of communicable ailments, who have been to be transported by airline or different frequent service, or who had been to be buried greater than 24 hours after dying.

One of many first pioneers of maximum embalming was Bolshevik revolutionary and chief Vladimir Lenin. In 1924, he died of a stroke and coronary heart assault, and was then embalmed with an untested chemical course of to protect a life-like look. At the moment, he’s entombed in a granite and marble mausoleum in Purple Sq. the place his physique is maintained at 61 levels, with the humidity between 80 and 90 % in a sealed glass sarcophagus.

The development just isn’t restricted to Puerto Rico or Russia; Louisiana has additionally seen its justifiable share of funerals with aptitude. In 2014, a New Orleans girl’s funeral went viral for excessive embalming. Miriam Burbank, 53, was posed at a desk with a glass of Busch beer, a menthol cigarette, and a disco ball overhead. She was additionally recognizing a New Orleans Saints-themed manicure.

“Once I walked in, I felt like I used to be in her home and I did not damage a lot. As a result of it is extra of her, and it is like she’s not lifeless. It isn’t like a funeral,” mentioned Burbank’s sister Sherline, ABC Information 13 reported. “It is like she’s simply within the room with us.”

Eddie Journey, a resident psychotherapist at Goodpoint Counseling & Consulting Providers in Indianapolis, Ind., believes excessive embalming might be seen as a ritual whereby individuals are making an attempt to honor a cherished one’s reminiscences in methods which are extra in keeping with how she or he lived.

“If she by no means wore clothes and make-up in life, why would somebody contemplate presenting her this fashion in demise?” he instructed Medical Day by day.

The Psychology Behind Freaky Funerals

Unique funerals are merely rituals that play a job in serving to households of the deceased address dying. A 2014 research printed within the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Common examined the highly effective impact grieving rituals have on serving to folks cope with a chaotic affect of loss. Within the analysis, ritual was outlined as a symbolic exercise that’s carried out earlier than, throughout, or after a significant occasion to attain a desired end result, comparable to assuaging grief. The authors recommend that within the case of dropping a liked one, rituals, whether or not extremely formal or casual, assist folks relieve adverse emotions of loss.

Tracee Dunblazier, a religious empath and authorized grief counselor primarily based in Los Angeles, believes grieving the lack of an individual and their bodily being is about altering your relationship with them from the bodily to the non secular.

“Excessive embalming is a method of honoring that transition and celebrating their life,” she informed Medical Each day.

In response to Dunblazier, it may also be a method of making a chance to say what you need to say whereas the particular person was dwelling, or have one final phantasm of life earlier than the phantasm of dying takes over.

The unconventional ritual may also be plagued with cons. Whereas it will probably act as a grief coping mechanism, Claudia Luiz, a psychoanalyst primarily based in Massachusetts, suggests it could actually signify a denial of grief, and numbness to the ceremoniousness of each life and loss of life.

Luiz’s rule of thumb is to make use of your individual feelings as a gauge in the case of understanding what a selected embalming symbolically displays.

“Your feelings can gauge whether or not the embalming is completed within the spirit of ceremony, love and religious renewal, or whether or not there may be mockery, irreverence and hostility at base,” she advised Medical Every day.

Others, like Jorge Lugo Ramirez, president of the Puerto Rico Funeral house Affiliation, sees this rising pattern as an act of irreverence.

In an interview with the Washington Publish, he mentioned: “I see it as a problem to the authorities: ‘You killed me, however you did not knock me down.’”

He added: “These sorts of persons are surrounded by straightforward cash and weapons. We will not be selling that.”

Whether or not the deceased have been criminals or martyrs, the choice on how one can honor a liked one is on the household’s discretion.

In any case, funerals is usually a enjoyable celebration of life and demise.

15 Gorgeous Spiritual Retreats Around the Globe: the Ultimate Meditation Destinations

Author Name: Emily Monaco
Publish Date: October 19, 2016
Website Link:

You don’t need to travel to far-flung places to meditate but why wouldn’t you? Beautiful locales around the world inspire you to relax, unwind, and really get in tune with your inner self, for spiritual retreats that leave you refreshed with a whole new outlook on your day-to-day.

We picked the brains of a few seasoned practitioners of meditation to uncover their favorite locales for spiritual retreats.

spiritual retreats

1. The Grand Canyon

Tiffany Cruikshank (L.A.c., MAOM, RYT) founder of Yoga Medicine and author of “Meditate Your Weight” loves to meditate at one of America’s natural wonders: the Grand Canyon.

“The massiveness of it and the spaciousness there is really calming for me,” she says.

2. Cabrera, Dominican Republic

Rebecca Weible, founder of Yo Yoga!, loves to meditate at Playa Diamante Beach in Cabrera, Dominican Republic.

“The water is clear, calm and shallow for almost a mile out so you could choose to sit or kneel in the water for your practice,” she says. “Petite, gentle waves break right on the shore creating a quiet and soothing soundtrack, perfect for syncing with your breath.”

spiritual retreats at half moon bay beach

3. Half Moon Bay Beach, California

Lauren Imparato loves meditating anywhere near the sea, from the front of a sailboat sailing through the Mediterranean to the cliffs at Half Moon Bay Beach, near where she grew up.

“There is a rhythmic nature to the waves and tides that not only mimics the breath, but helps me naturally fall into it,” says the founder of I.AM.YOU., a lifestyle company and yoga studio in Manhattan and author of “RETOX: Healthy Solutions for Real Life.”

Meditation is simply breathing, And the sea reminds me that that’s the only thing I really have to remember to do to be healthy and whole.”

spiritual retreats rishikesh

4. The River Ganges, Rishikesh

India is a popular locale for meditation given the practice’s deep cultural importance in the region.

Constantin Bisanz, the founder of ALOHA, a wellness-driven food company, had the opportunity to travel to the origin of the river Ganges above Rishikesh, which is where the Beatles famously delved into the historical and spiritual practices of mediation.

“I was up in the mountains in the Himalayas, overlooking the valley, seeing the River Ganges, and that was kind of, in a sense, a very special place,” says Bisanz.

Dr. Lynn Anderson, Naturopathic Doctor and Certified Yoga Therapist, had a completely different but no less rewarding meditation experience in Rishikesh.

“We think of meditation as something that is done sitting still and away from distractions,” she says. “But the true nature of meditation is to be mindful and present. As I took the 16 miles white water rafting expedition down the Ganges I was mindful of the calm water, the turbulent water and the twist and turns of the river bed. Life is like a river. To navigate it you need to be mindful and present.”

5. Monson, Maine

This tiny, 686-person town is Anderson’s other favorite place to meditate.

“My family owned a farm house which boarded a stream that flowed from the nearby mountains,” she says. “Down over the steep bank, hidden by the trees I would sit at the side of the brook and listen to the gentle babbling of the water running over the smooth stones. It was the only sound to be heard.

“Here I was at peace with the world and it is here that I would meditate. Surrounded by the colors, sounds and smells of nature the mind relaxes into a state of peaceful reflection.”

spiritual retreats

Image care of Tomas Castelazo

6. Sedona, AZ

Tracee Dunblazier, spiritual empathy and author of “The Demon Slayer’s Handbook” series, shares that her favorite place to meditate is at Bell Rock, in Sedona, Arizona, a veritable meditation destination particularly given the presence of the McLean Meditation Institute.

“The first time I went, I hiked up about 100 ft to the first plateau,” says Dunblazier. “Once up there, at the very edge facing the beautiful valley and red rocks, I sat in the chair sized cubby hole in the cliff that fits one. I was immersed in the rich smells of dirt, desert sage–and the connection to other dimensions was off the charts. As I meditated an Eagle flew overhead.”

Elisabeth Manning, founder of Fertile Living, also loves to go to Sedona to meditate.

“Meditation is easy and accelerated because of the many vortexes,” she notes, citing the region’s famous locales where the earth is exceptionally alive with energy. “I love to meditate on Airport Mesa to calm/balance emotions and heighten my awareness.”

7. Atalaya, Santa Fe

Kathy Walsh, mindfulness and meditation coach and founder of Joyohboy, loves to meditate while hiking.

“When I go on a hike I often find a space that has an energy to it that feels heightened,” she says. “I will sit on the earth and allow the vibration to flow through my body. Specifically, I love the hike called Atalaya in Santa Fe. Half way up the trail turns and faces the mountain. I often meditate there.”

spiritual retreats - arctic circle

8. Kemi, Finland

Debbie Vyskocil, President of Curative Via & CV Performance Institute, ventures away from the typical beaches and mountains to a unique spot in Finland.

“Meditating in Kemi, Finland in the Arctic Circle was my absolute favorite,” she says. “The clear, cool air made for the most amazing and kinesthetic breathing meditation. The crystal blue sky set against the pure white snow was an almost entrancing visual to let your eyes soft focus on. The warmth of the sun was penetrating since the air was so clean.”

spiritual retreats - easter island

Image care of TravelingOtter

9. Easter Island

One of Kelsey Patel’s best meditation experiences was at Easter Island.

“The island is known for it’s Moai,” explains the meditation coach and owner of Pure Barre Beverly Hills, “But the actual magic of being on this tiny island, where there are more horses than humans, with the Rapa Nui people who almost became extinct due to civil conflict and wars on their own island and then sitting in front of these statues, which represent the actual human beings who populated the land at one point and were leaders of their particular village or tribe and feeling the energy of the land… it feels like you’re a tiny dot on the entire planet, which the island somewhat is, and I felt so much aliveness because the island is so far from anything, yet so palpable with life and energy.”

spiritual retreats - hawaii

Image care of FLJuJitsu

10. Hawaii

It’s not surprising that Hawaii is so popular for so many of our meditation enthusiasts: it has a unique energy that draws many to its shores.

Bisanz loves Maui, which he calls a “place that’s kind of special for me, with a special energy.” It’s no wonder he used a Hawaiian word as the name for his company.

Patel loves Hawaii as well, “particularly mama Maui as they call her,” she says. “There’s so much incredible energy on the island.”

machu picchu - spiritual retreats

Image care of Chensiyuan

11. Machu Picchu, Peru

The historical city of Machu Picchu — the lost city of the Inca — is a major draw for psychic Linda Lauren.

“It is a very spiritual, sacred place with a special energy that draws you to awareness and silence,” she says. “There are hot springs bubbling up from the caverns at it’s core, with waterfalls offering a cleansing experience. If you have a honed intuition, or already meditate regularly, expect to experience visions and feelings on the more intense side.”

12. The Sanctuary Belintash, Bulgaria

Yet another ancient locale with an enormous amount of history, this sanctuary in Bulgaria is one of Lauren’s favorite places to meditate.

“This ancient sanctuary is a huge rock and part of one of the three point formation of European energy zones,” notes Lauren. “The area creates a strong vibrational pull that visitors insist enhances the likelihood of anything paranormal. Visions, spirits, and physical sensations accompany your visit, and it would be fascinating to keep a journal on what your senses experience.”

mykonos - spiritual retreats

Image care of Mstyslav Chernov

13. Mykonos, Greece

There’s no place like home, especially when home is Greece. Dr. Theodoros Kousouli D.C., C.H.t. always makes sure to spend some time meditating in Mykonos when he returns to his homeland.

“Every time I go there I can feel the ancients calling to me, the crystal clear waters inviting me,” he says. “Whether it is the break of morning or when the sun sets , by far my favorite place to meditate. My soul vibrates and feels as if it is singing- I feel most connected there.”

redwood forest - spiritual retreats

Image care of Flickr: Byron Hetrick

14. Redwood Forest

It’s not only one of the natural wonders of the world — the Redwood Forest is also a great place for meditation, at least as far as meditation enthusiast and writer Erin Michaela Sweeney is concerned.

“One of my favorite meditation spots in recent months has been the Wellstone Center in the Redwoods, where I was an emerging writer in residency in August,” she says. “Situated four miles above the Santa Cruz boardwalk in the morning fog of Soquel, California, the WCR is a retreat where I practiced my meditation and my craft for two weeks. The peaceful environment allowed me to explore my creativity both with meditating and with writing.”

spiritual retreats - alps

Image care of GnomeFilliere

15. The Alps

The beautiful mountains spanning French, Italian, Swiss, and Austrian borders are one of Bisanz’s favorite places in the world to meditate.

“Growing up in the Austrian Alps — my family lives outside of Salzburg in the mountains — I like  to be there, to find some peace there.”

Spring Cleaning: Welcome in Love with Feng Shui.

Author Name: Tracee Dunblazier
Publish Date: March 11, 2015
Website Link:

It’s a new year, new season—time for new love! Tracee Dunblazier gives us a rundown of the best ways to clean our homes to attract love with Feng Shui.

If you’re not familiar with Feng Shui, it’s the ancient Chinese art of the placement of objects and connection to nature and your environment, to support and regulate the flow of energy in your home.

The Chinese New Year began on the second New Moon of the year and ushered in the Wood Goat for 2015. The vibe of the New Year, heralding the winds of change and new opportunity, begin to blow at the end of the year, so for me, I usually begin the process of making changes around the home before the New Year.

Of course it’s always important to have a good idea of what you want in your life, or at very least, what you don’t want. The three most important principal’s for opening your mind, heart and home for love are: cleaning and clearing, preparing to receive and harmoniously having the object of your desire.

Love comes to us in our lives, in many ways, subtle and overt. The more we are able to recognize the subtle ways that love comes to us, the more harmoniously we will embrace the overt ways we engage in the giving and receiving of love. Believe it or not,our human consciousness needs to give love more than we need to receive it…and the Jedi mind trick here is that receiving love is a natural response to having given it.

The more you give love freely, the more it finds its way back to you.

Keeping that in mind, here are the changes to make in your home to manifest more love.

Clutter-Free Zone

The most important thing to do when you want to have more love in your life is to create space for it. Getting rid of clutter, cleaning out drawers and having as much surface space in all the rooms of the home, but especially the bedroom, is vital.

Once you have cleared all that space and had a garage sale or taken a few loads to the GoodWill, now it’s time to clean, I mean really clean all of those spaces. Start with the bathroom and kitchen. Those two rooms in the house are where energy is piped in and dumped several times a day. You really want to scrub the baseboards and walls, all of the appliances and fixtures and keep the lid down on the toilet. Take my word for it, there is nothing sexier than a clean bathroom corner.

Satellite for Love

A person’s preparedness to give and receive love is always evident in their home if you really look. Take a moment to take your own inventory. How much extra space do you have? How clean is your environment? Do you have past memorabilia up everywhere in your home or is it concentrated to one area? On a scale of 1-10, 10 being ready, how prepared are you?

The southwest sector of the home is the direction that governs love and marriage in Feng Shui, and there are quite a few enhancers to support love and relationship in your life. My favorites are: planting a lime tree in the Southwest sector of the garden, placing pictures of Peonies or two ducks in the southwest corner of the house and bedroom. These are all symbolic of a happy relationship.

There are a couple of things that you want to look out for…

About the Author:

Tracee Dunblazier Tracee Dunblazier

Tracee Dunblazier, GC-C, CCDC, spiritual empath, shaman, educator, author and speaker is based in Los Angeles, California. Tracee specializes in grief counseling, energy dynamics, Shamanic healing, past life and soul recovery, transition strategy, addiction transformation, and space clearings. In 2015, Tracee founded GoTracee Publishing LLC and to publish a new hybrid of self-help, memoir, and spiritual book to access a wider audience of spiritual seekers. As a multi-sensitive, Tracee blends information that she receives intuitively with different modalities to create a unique healing plan for every client. Every session is focused on freeing the client from their presenting issue to release, empower, and heal – no matter what the condition. Tracee’s compassionate, humorous, down-to-earth style supports and empowers clients as tender topics are addressed during the session. An accomplished author, Tracee has written two books on the topic of personal soul excavation and deep healing from soul to body. Book one: The Demon Slayer’s handbook: A Practical Guide to Mastering Your Inner World addresses inner mental, emotional, and spiritual mastery through self-awareness and spirit guide communication. Book two: The Demon Slayer’s handbook: A Practical Guide to Self- Healing and Unconditional Love empowers cultural awareness and understanding through looking at the concept of past lives and soul imprints. Tracee’s published articles cover many subjects related to spirituality and relationships while her blog breaks down current events and daily energy dynamics that everyone experiences. Tracee’s been a guest on many prominent television and radio programs informing others about spirituality and sacred ritual practices. Tracee teaches workshops, webinars, and offers two online courses on the As well as speaking engagements touching on subjects like grief, death & dying, unconditional love, self- acceptance, and healing.

9 Reasons Your Partner Is So Jealous — And What You Can Do To Change It

Author Name: Bibi Deitz
Publish Date: Aug 9
Website Link:

Jealousy can rip apart a relationship, slowly but surely obliterating everything good about everything and leaving you feeling pretty awful. This may sound harsh, but if it’s your reality, you probably are wondering what can I do about a jealous partner? No one wants to live with a super jealous partner, but if you’re in love with a jealous type, and you want to stay together, something has to change.

The good news is that it’s possible to find a solution. I spoke with nine relationship experts, and they all conveyed a sense of positivity about the whole thing, reminding us that it is possible to find real change within a relationship, as long as both parties are really serious about figuring out what to do. They all gave great tips to seek a better, easier situation together, and revealed excellent advice as to what exactly you should do if you’re dealing with a jealous boo. No matter what the cause, jealousy is awful, and there’s no need to just accept it as part of your reality. Many experts cited insecurity as a sure-fire cause of jealousy, and gently shared some great methods to open up with your partner and figure out how to take their jealousy down a notch (or five). Keep these nine things in mind if you’re working with a jealous mate.

1. They’re Insecure

“Some partners are extremely jealous because of an insecurity developed within,” author and relationship expert Alexis Nicole White tells Bustle. “Perhaps they have been cheated on, or they have spent a lot of time with an individual that makes them develop a general mistrust or distrust of others.” This is not your fault, but if the end result is a serious jealous streak, it is your problem.

“While this is not healthy, the only thing you can really do to prevent this from happening is to be who you say you are, do what you said you’re doing, and be where you’re supposed to be to build up that level of trust,” she says. If, after a long time of being trustworthy, your partner is jealous as ever, it’s time for a serious chat.

2. They Learned Jealousy When They Were Young

“Some partners may be jealous because of what they viewed in their family of origin — the family that they grew up in,” Texas-based psychotherapist Richard E. Toney tells Bustle. “Or some partners may be jealous for issues related to emotional attachment.” It’s possible that they saw something in their childhood that taught them to be wary of people, or that they have trouble attaching without anxiety.

“Either way, there is nothing that you as a significant other can do to change this,” Toney says. “An issue of this sort has to be worked out within the heart and mind of the jealous partner.” You’re welcome to bring it up and request that your partner work on it, though. “An individual who has a jealous partner can do nothing wrong and still have a jealous partner question them about things that they’ve done.” That sucks — and if it happens, be sure to gently point out how this might be something they need to have a good look at.

3. They’re Understanding Your Journey Incorrectly

“Jealousy is a bastardization of love, it is an inaccurate understanding of someone else’s journey,” Darren Pierre, educator, speaker and author of The Invitation to Love: Recognizing the Gift Despite Pain, Fear, and Resistance, tells Bustle. “Often, if we knew what it took to live the life of someone else, the sacrifices that are made, or the toll it can take on other areas, we would see our jealousy muted, respect rise, and a clear invitation for us to make changes in our life.”

Unfortunately, it’s not always so easy, and we can’t actually walk in a partner’s shoes, as tantalizing as it may be. “All you can do is to continue to do what you are doing, to be the fullest expression of yourselves,” Pierre says. “What remains true: If we do not turn jealousy into inspiration, we will allow jealousy to have a significant toll on our lives.” So use your partner’s jealousy as an inspiration to have a long talk about where it comes from, and take the opportunity to get to know your partner better.

4. Someone Cheated On Them In The Past

“Some partners are jealous because they’ve been betrayed before,” Tiya Cunningham-Sumter, certified life and love coach and author of A Conversation Piece, tells Bustle. “If they’ve been hurt by a past partner, they usually have their guard up and are even more suspicious in the next relationship,” she says.

But you can assure your partner that things are different now. “At some point, jealous partners are going to have to realize their new partner isn’t the same one who hurt them in the past,” she says. “They must start to trust, and they can begin by trusting themselves.” It may take some reassurance from you as well, but be sure to remind your partner they must have faith that they’re a good partner who is worthy of a healthy relationship, she says.

“Examining all the reasons the new relationship works, what personal changes they themselves may have to make, as well as the good qualities of their new partner is a great way to begin to change this,” she suggests.

5. They Might Have A Couple Of Past Issues At Play

“Some people are traumatized from past experiences where a partner cheated on them or betrayed them,” dating coach and licensed marriage and family therapist Pella Weisman tells Bustle, echoing Cunningham-Sumter. “For others, it goes back to early childhood issues,” she says, as Toney advised. Regardless of the situation, Weisman has a solution.

“In either case, check in with your partner about what they need to feel more secure,” she says. “Some partners might need to check in more frequently, or want to get to know your friends who you like to spend time alone with.” Though it may not be ideal, if you’re willing to be flexible, you’ll be rewarded with a partner who can really trust you. “Figure out what you can agree to, and then stick to your agreements,” she says. From there, you’ll be happier — and your partner will too.

6. They’re Trying To Protect Themselves

“Jealousy is always based in insecurity, mistrust, or control — sometimes all of the above,” licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist Natalie Finegood Goldberg tells Bustle. “It’s a form of self-protection: If I’m hyper-aware of my partner’s behavior, then it will prevent anything bad from happening.” Of course, this doesn’t really work.

“Unfortunately, this is also magical thinking, and often creates cheating situations rather than preventing them,” she says. “Sometimes that insecurity may be legitimate — if a partner has cheated, then it makes sense to feel insecure — but it is almost always toxic, regardless of the reasons why or where it came from.” And if you’re with someone who is acting out toxic behavior, it’ll affect you in a negative way.

So how can you eliminate jealousy? Work together, and slowly jealousy should begin to fade away if both partners are committed to change.

7. They’re Afraid

“Jealousy happens because of insecurity, and insecurity can happen for many reasons in a relationship,” spiritual empath Tracee Dunblazier tells Bustle. Insecurity can happen before a relationship even starts, but the most important reason it happens within a relationship is “an inability or lack of willingness to be honest about what each partner needs in the relationship to feel safe mentally, emotionally, or physically.” Turn that around by facing it point-blank and asking what your partner needs from you to feel safe.

8. They Have A History

“There are many reasons a partner may be jealous: historical experiences in their own relationships, learned behavior during childhood, and something in this current relationship that feels off,” Gestalt life coach Nina Rubin tells Bustle. But don’t take it personally — if your slate is clean, you can roll up your sleeves and figure it out together.

“Rather than making threats and pushing away from the relationship you’re in now, try to have a conversation about how it feels,” Rubin suggests. “For the partner who is the object of the jealousy, it can be romantic at first — and then turn into frustration when a partner does not trust you, and you’ve done nothing wrong.” It might feel good to have a partner feel jealous in the beginning, but eventually it’ll get old.

The best way to start is to have a conversation about what it feels like to be untrusted, she says. For example, let them know it makes you feel distant and work out solutions that help you both. “Being communicative and forthcoming about your life is a great way to counter the jealousy,” she says.

9. Who Cares — Don’t Take It Personally

“Don’t take your partner’s jealousy personally,” certified relationship coach Dedeker Winston tells Bustle. “You may very well be doing everything right — offering lots of reassurance, being emotionally open and intimate, avoiding scenarios that you know trigger your partner’s jealousy — and it still may not be enough.”

Just keep in mind that this isn’t your problem, and there’s nothing you can do, other than show up. “The best you can do is offer 100 percent of your side of meeting your partner halfway,” Winston says. “The other half is your partner’s own individual journey of self-growth.” Anything is possible if you’re both committed to finding a solution.

Author Name

Why Is It So Hard For Some Partners To Be Emotionally Open? 9 Experts Weigh In

Author Name: Bibi Deitz
Publish Date: Aug 11
Website Link:

It can be really challenging to accept a partner when they refuse or shy away from being emotionally vulnerable. But why do some people have difficulty expressing emotions? If we can understand why this is so, does it make it easier to let a partner who clams up way too easily feel less burden to open up?

I spoke with nine relationship experts about this topic, and what I found is striking: Though generally when I pose the same question to multiple experts, I get a myriad of different takes and responses, almost all of the people with whom I spoke could agree on one thing: If you’re encountering someone who has a really hard time letting you know where they are emotionally, they are probably holding onto old stuff from their past. This might mean past relationships or even go as far back as childhood, but regardless of the case, it is not about you.

So what is it about? Read on to learn why it’s such a big deal for some of us to really let go, loosen up and open their hearts — and what you should do if this describes your partner, and how to cope in your relationship in the meantime.

1. Old Habits Die Hard

“Often, couples who have experienced years of emotional abuse — judgement, ridicule, humiliation, and condemnation — from previous love interests find it difficult to open up and be transparent with their current partner,” author and relationship expert Alexis Nicole White tells Bustle. “Thus, they are often afraid to share their most intimate thoughts and feelings with their mate.” Those old feelings can crop up, and everything comes flooding back to haunt them.

“It is simply a coping mechanism that establishes borders and boundaries that make it nearly impossible for their partner to penetrate,” she says. Don’t take it personally — and be patient.

2. Fear Of Being Vulnerable

“The difficult part of being emotionally open comes from the lack of desire to be vulnerable,” Texas-based psychotherapist Richard E. Toney tells Bustle. “When a person is open and there is not trust built, one may feel as if he or she could possibly fall prey to scrutiny in the future when an argument occurs.” Without trust, it can feel like a death sentence to attempt real emotional openness. “This is due to issues with trust from past relationships,” Toney says. “People have a tendency to bring old baggage into new relationships.”

Though it would be nice in some ways if a partner could enter a new relationship with a clean slate, that would come with its own set of problems. “Those who are afraid to be emotionally open have doubts that the person who they are in a relationship with will actually take care of their heart,” he says. You have to show your partner that you’ll guard their heart fiercely (and gently), and the only way you can really do that is by doing it slowly, over the course of many months.

3. Insecurity Runs Deep

“Emotional unavailability is one of the leading causes of a demise of any relationships,” Darren Pierre, educator, speaker and author of The Invitation to Love: Recognizing the Gift Despite Pain, Fear, and Resistance, tells Bustle. “Often this emotionally closed-off space is based in insecurity, and that insecurity is often rooted in childhood wounds.” Once again, this can all be traced back to the past.

“Childhood is where we learn our worth, childhood is where we learn the safety — or harm — that arises from being vulnerable, and childhood is where we learned to express or suppress love,” Pierre says. “If you want to find a partner who is emotionally open, begin to look for those people who aren’t afraid to engage in introspection, who practice resilience, and demonstrate a value in the art of self-care.” If you meet someone who loves talking about their thoughts and taking long bubble baths, you may be on the right track.

4. No Practice

“From the couples I’ve worked with in my private practice, the number-one reason that it is hard for some partners to be emotionally open is usually associated with past interpersonal traumas, which can include a bad breakup, growing up in an emotionally abusive household, or the absence of a parent in their lives while growing up,” author, life strategist and speaker Carey Yazeed tells Bustle. “The second reason why some partners have a hard time emotionally opening up is because they simply don’t know how.”

Whether clamming up is a sign of being punished in the past for opening up or just plain feeling clueless about how best to proceed, this silence is real either way. For your partner, it’s possible that “expressing emotions in their household while growing up was something that just didn’t happen,” Yazeed says. If this is the case, warm them up to it carefully by talking about yourself and slowly trying to engage them.

5. A Past Partner Is Still Lurking

“It’s hard for some partners to be emotionally open for a variety of reasons,” Tiya Cunningham-Sumter, certified life and love coach and author of A Conversation Piece, tells Bustle. “Some are still harboring painful feelings from relationships past.” As other experts have pointed out, this scenario sets up a situation rife with anxiety on your partner’s part. “They can’t trust the new partner because of the last partner,” she says.

“In other cases, some people aren’t sure what their partner will do with the emotions they reveal,” Cunningham-Sumter says. “They wonder if they may be judged and sometimes fear that their partner will use what they know about them to actually hurt them.” Though they may be totally open to letting you know how they feel, they might be afraid of what might happen if they do. “No one wants their emotions trampled on, so many choose not to be as open,” she says. “Sometimes it’s easier, and it definitely feels safer for some.” But this, of course, doesn’t feel great for the person on the receiving end. It can happen on both sides, though, she reminds: “Some couples just aren’t ready to go all-in with their heart or their emotions.”

6. Some Families Discourage Emotion

“Some families weren’t safe to open up in,” dating coach and licensed marriage and family therapist Pella Weisman tells Bustle. “Your partner may have been shamed when they showed strong feelings, so they learned not to show them and maybe even not to feel them.” As a child and young adult, your partner might have been taught that being emotionally vulnerable is a terrible idea, and they may have internalized that.

“Your partner may have been neglected or abused, and learned that it wasn’t safe to love because love hurts,” Weisman says. “Your partner may have grown up in a household where no one shared their feelings. They may have never learned how to be emotionally intimate with someone.” Regardless of the case, the last thing they need is judgment. If your partner is gun-shy about expressing emotions, work together with lots of care and love to uncover some of their real feelings — and, once again, go slow.

7. Deep Feelings Weren’t Discussed In The Past

“For those who struggle to open up emotionally, there are a potential causes for this,” licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist Natalie Finegood Goldberg tells Bustle. “The first is that they may have opened up in the past and been hurt as a result — maybe an ex used their vulnerability against them or shamed them for it.” As many experts have pointed out, it can take just one awful experience with a past partner to really shut down someone’s emotional availability.

“Another cause for difficulty opening up can be their family history,” she says. “If during childhood they were ignored, shamed, or dismissed when expressing their feelings, then it stands to reason that opening up is unnecessary or even potentially dangerous.” Though they may want to open up to you, it may feel too scary or painful to do so. “Similarly, someone may have come from a very happy and supportive family, but if deep feelings were not talked about, or their parents never opened up emotionally, so they may just not have the language or awareness of how to go deeper and talk openly on that level.” If this is the case, try leading by example and see what comes — you might both be surprised at the outcome.

8. Fear Of Uncovering Old Emotional Trauma

“If you or your partner find it hard to be emotionally open with each other, consider that when you open your heart, any emotional pain that’s not been expressed previously comes forward,” spiritual empath Tracee Dunblazier tells Bustle.”It’s a natural part of the grief process.”

If your partner is typically someone who prefers to keep it all to themselves, they may be avoiding this emotional pain. “Being honest and open about it can not only help you heal, but bring you and your partner closer,” Dunblazier says. A long talk might remind them it’s safe — and healthy — to let it all out.

9. Hurt And Confusion From The Past Can Linger

“Past relationships could have resulted in hurt and confusion,” online dating expert Anita Covic tells Bustle. “This could leave that fear that a future partner could, once again, hurt them.” As most other experts have pointed out, relationships are very much informed by the ones that have come before, and “it is important to look at every new relationship as that — a clean slate, a new opportunity to connect with a new, and, possibly, forever love,” she says.

But that doesn’t make it easy. “It’s OK to take a new relationship slowly in order to work up to opening up emotionally,” Covic says. “If the relationship is one that isn’t meant to be, then the partners won’t be able to open up. If the pairing is truly meant to last, then that emotional comfort will come naturally and won’t be planned in advance.”

In a perfect world, this is true. But if it doesn’t come naturally, you can also work together to help your partner feel comfortable enough to let you in — gently.

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A very unconventional emerging funeral trend

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Publish Date: April 29, 2016
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USA – Why some families choose to have their loved one posed as if they are alive at the funeral.

Funerals are designed to help people come to terms with death. Seeing a loved one in an open casket, wearing their “Sunday’s best,” and the organ playing in the background all helps to normalize the grieving process by allowing family and friends to accept mortality. Now, several morticians across the country, from Louisiana to Puerto Rico, have put their unique flair on funerals by offering extreme embalming, making it easier — and maybe even fun — to commemorate the dead.

The unconventional funeral trend first made headlines in 2008 when the body of a 24-year-old murder victim, Angel Luis Pantojas, was tethered against the wall in his family living room in Puerto Rico. His funeral, known as “muerto parao,” or or dead man standing, was an internet sensation and soon set the tone for future “freaky” funerals. The idea came from Pantojas himself after attending his father’s funeral at age 6, according to the New York Times. He told his relatives that he wanted to be viewed on his feet.

Shortly after, another murder victim was propped on a motorcycle, and in March, 26-year-old Fernando de Jesus Diaz Beato, who was tragically shot and killed, was seated on a chair — with his eyes open — a funeral first.

Damaris Marin, owner of Marin Funeral Home with locations in San Juan and Rio Piedras, explains families of the deceased want to see their loved one as they were during their life.

“We have seen that the families wish to see the dead men just as they were when they were alive,” said Marin, NY Post reported. “I think that this time was the most impressive reaction to any of the work we have done,” she said, referring to Beato’s embalming.

This process generally takes two days, and it’s not easy work, according to Marin. “The secret is in the embalming,” but she has not revealed the exact details.

Typically, in normal embalming, the body is washed in a disinfectant solution, and the limbs are massaged and morphed to relieve stiffness of the joints and the limbs, according to the Funerals Consumers Alliance. Approximately 16 ounces of fluid combined with two gallons of water is a good dilution. Facial hair is shaved off, unless the deceased wore facial hair.

Next, the surgical embalming or cosmetic processes begin with the removal of bodily fluids using formaldehyde-based chemical solutions. The body is then prepared for viewing by styling the hair, applying makeup, and setting the facial features. Embalming does not provide any public health benefit, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. It’s only mandatory for persons who had died of communicable diseases, who were to be transported by airline or other common carrier, or who were to be buried more than 24 hours after death.

One of the first pioneers of extreme embalming was Bolshevik revolutionary and leader Vladimir Lenin. In 1924, he died of a stroke and heart attack, and was then embalmed with an untested chemical process to preserve a life-like appearance. Today, he is entombed in a granite and marble mausoleum in Red Square where his body is maintained at 61 degrees, with the humidity between 80 and 90 percent in a sealed glass sarcophagus.

The trend is not limited to Puerto Rico or Russia; Louisiana has also seen its fair share of funerals with flair. In 2014, a New Orleans woman’s funeral went viral for extreme embalming. Miriam Burbank, 53, was posed at a table with a glass of Busch beer, a menthol cigarette, and a disco ball overhead. She was also sporting a New Orleans Saints-themed manicure.

“When I walked in, I felt like I was in her house and I didn’t hurt so much. Because it’s more of her, and it’s like she’s not dead. It’s not like a funeral,” said Burbank’s sister Sherline, ABC News 13 reported. “It’s like she’s just in the room with us.”

Eddie Journey, a resident psychotherapist at Goodpoint Counseling & Consulting Services in Indianapolis, Ind., believes extreme embalming can be seen as a ritual wherein people are attempting to honor a loved one’s memories in ways that are more consistent with how he or she lived.

“If she never wore dresses and makeup in life, why would someone consider presenting her this way in death?” he told Medical Daily.

Exotic funerals are simply rituals that play a role in helping families of the deceased cope with death. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General examined the powerful effect grieving rituals have on helping people deal with a chaotic impact of loss. In the research, ritual was defined as a symbolic activity that is performed before, during, or after a meaningful event to achieve a desired outcome, such as alleviating grief. The authors suggest that in the case of losing a loved one, rituals, whether highly formal or informal, help people relieve negative feelings of loss.

Tracee Dunblazier, a spiritual empath and certified grief counselor based in Los Angeles, believes grieving the loss of a person and their physical being is about changing your relationship with them from the physical to the spiritual.

“Extreme embalming is a way of honoring that transition and celebrating their life,” she told Medical Daily.

According to Dunblazier, it can also be a way of creating an opportunity to say what you want to say while the person was living, or have one last illusion of life before the illusion of death takes over.

The unconventional ritual can also be plagued with cons. While it can act as a grief coping mechanism, Dr. Claudia Luiz, a psychotherapist based in Massachusetts, suggests it can represent a denial of grief, and numbness to the ceremoniousness of both life and death.

Luiz’s rule of thumb is to use your own emotions as a gauge when it comes to understanding what a particular embalming symbolically reflects.

“Your emotions can gauge whether the embalming is done in the spirit of ceremony, love and spiritual renewal, or whether there is mockery, irreverence and hostility at base,” she told Medical Daily.

Others, like Jorge Lugo Ramirez, president of the Puerto Rico Funeral home Association, sees this growing trend as an act of irreverence.

In an interview with the Washington Post, he said: “I see it as a challenge to the authorities: ‘You killed me, but you didn’t knock me down.’”

He added: “These kinds of people are surrounded by easy money and guns. We can’t be promoting that.”

Whether the deceased were criminals or martyrs, the decision on how to honor a loved one is at the family’s discretion.

Curated from Freaky Funerals: The Psychology Behind Out-Of-The-Ordinary Body Embalming

9 Things You Can Do To Reduce Relationship Stress

Author Name: Bibi Deitz
Publish Date: Aug 3
Website Link:

Relationships can be really, really anxiety-provoking. So, naturally, I spoke with nine experts about things you can do to reduce relationship stress, because there’s no need to fret about the partnership that should be bringing you joy and nice, warm feelings of support and love. Unfortunately, just because your relationship should bring you such feelings doesn’t mean that it will, and it’s quite common to feel stressed out, worried, anxious, or otherwise off-balance when spending time with your partner. Or when thinking about your partner. Or when obsessing about your partner. Or, you know, when you just don’t know what’s going to ultimately happen with your partner so you project and what-if and wonder, instead of just relaxing into the moment.

Though the best things to do to feel calmer about your relationship vary, it seems as though most experts agree that it’s smart to take the focus off your partner (and your relationship), and instead take a long, hard look at yourself. Why are you worried? What does this bring up from your past? What can you work on within yourself first, before tackling any larger issues within your partnership? While you ask yourself these questions, try keeping these nine things in mind as you walk through your relationship — with a little less stress, I hope.

1. Listen

“As always, communication is preferred; while it seems juvenile, many couples experience unnecessary stress due to a lack of communication,” author and relationship expert Alexis Nicole White tells Bustle. “Communicating with your mate can simply mean to just listen. Be attentive, by demonstrating that you have heard what they’ve said by doing something to signal to them that you have heard them. If something is bothering them, do something to correct that irritation in their lives.” Just by sitting with your partner and opening your ears, you’re demonstrating the willingness to hear what they need to say.

It can be simple, but the payoff is great. Whether it’s a five-minute foot massage after they tell you they’ve had a difficult day or running them a bath after dinner, small gestures will remind your partner that you’re a team — and you’re on the same side.

2. Make Bids For Connection

“Acts of turning towards your partner — what researcher John Gottman calls ‘bids for connection’ — are a surefire and consistent way to reduce stress in a relationship,” licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist Natalie Finegood Goldberg tells Bustle.” This means taking bids for connection for what they are.” In other words, take your partner’s kind words or actions at face value, and try not to over-judge every little ting that happens in your relationship.

“When your partner pays you a compliment, take it, rather than downplaying or minimizing whatever they’re complimenting, or shaming them for not noticing you sooner,” she says. “Try to see your partner’s behaviors through the lens of how they’re trying to connect with you, rather than what they’re doing wrong. Oftentimes our partner’s behaviors are rooted in trying to help, connect, or be loving, but if the act itself isn’t delivered the way we want it to be, that message gets lost,” she says. Don’t lose the message.

3. Meditate

“In the beginning, a part of your brain called the amygdala is sounding the alarm a lot,” Dawn Maslar, a.k.a. “the Love Biologist,” tells Bustle about relationships. “This can make you feel nervous and stressed, but you can do something to reduce the about of anxiety.” If you’re open to spending some quiet time alone, you might find yourself a lot calmer in your relationship— and your life.

“Researchers have discovered that meditation actually shrinks the mass of the amygdala,” she says. “With a few minutes of meditation each day, you can may turn your five-alarm fire into a quiet little chirp every now and then.”

4. Be Yourself

“An individual must learn to exhibit ‘self’ within a relationship,” Texas-based psychotherapist Richard E. Toney tells Bustle. “When a person is being his or herself within the relationship, there is less stress due not worrying about the hassle of attempting to satisfy their partner with an image they will not be able to maintain.” If you feel stress in your relationship, just be authentic, and don’t try to be something or someone you’re not.

“This is especially true if you are already in the relationship,” he says. “You have already won them over, so just be yourself.” If you let go of fronting, you’ll be a lot happier — and calmer.

5. Focus On Your Own Life

“Put some of that love and attention back on yourself,” Darren Pierre, educator, speaker and author of The Invitation to Love: Recognizing the Gift Despite Pain, Fear, and Resistance, tells Bustle. “Take inventory of your life—what are the practices that you are engaging in that are working for you, and what are those that are not? Figure out those things in your life you have control over that you are being asked to respond to, and then get about the business of working on them.”

You’ll reduce stress that has nothing to do with your relationship, which’ll make the relationship itself easier. “While the temptation is always to look to the relationship to ease stress, stress reduction starts from within.” From there, you can figure out what’s really causing undue stress — and let it go.

6. Communicate

“Stress in a relationship usually results from lack of communication,” author, life strategist and speaker Carey Yazeed tells Bustle. “The first step in reducing stress in a relationship is to start by addressing why you are feeling stressful.” Whether it’s your job, your best friend, or your partner, getting clear on the cause will help to address it.

“The second step is to work as a team to develop and implement solutions that will help to decrease or reduce the stress in the relationship,” she says. If you feel stressed that your partner is working 60-hour weeks, try to find solutions to the worry and anxiety you feel by talking about it.

7. Hit The Pause Button

“First, pause and take some time to reflect, alone,” Tiya Cunningham-Sumter, certified life and love coach and author of A Conversation Piece, tells Bustle. “There is power in pausing. Next, understand the source of your stress and be specific. Don’t just say it’s your partner. Name the specific behavior or action that’s causing the stress.” If you’re upset because your partner never compliments you, try exploring why that upsets you so much, and what it brings up for you.

“Determine why it is having the impact it’s having on you,” she says. “Once you have that complete understanding of the what and the why, you’ll be able to effectively communicate with your partner your concerns and possible solutions.”

8. Make The Decision To Bond

“Most relationship stress comes from outside circumstances, and often those circumstances are out of our control,” dating coach and licensed marriage and family therapist Pella Weisman tells Bustle. “What you can do is decide that you and your partner are going to cleave together during hard times,” she says.

It’s easy to be happy when times are good, but what about when things get rocky? “It takes commitment to turn towards each other when things are stressful, but that’s what it takes to keep outside stressors from damaging your relationship,” she says. “When you turn towards each other, you recognize when the other person is stressed or sad, and you offer them your support.” In this support, you’ll find calm.

9. Be Consistent—And Kind

“Lack of communication is the biggest stressor in a relationship,” spiritual empath Tracee Dunblazier tells Bustle. “Adding consistency, honesty, and kindness to your connection habits is important.” Every day, be sure to do one super-sweet thing for your partner. “Also, responding to your lover’s bids for attention with honesty can make all the difference,” she adds.

If your partner needs more than you can give, tell them. Passive-aggressive behavior will get you nowhere, but honesty—and consistency—will get you everywhere.

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